Crohn's disease is an often severe gastrointestinal illness with symptoms such as abdominal pain, disabling diarrhoea, and loss of appetite. Drug treatments are limited and there is no cure.
Up to 1 in 1000 people have Crohn's disease, and 1 in 750 have ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease is prevalent in the USA, UK, Scandinavia and in Jews of Northern European origin. At least half million people are affected in the USA.
The association of Crohn's GIT disease, for example, with psoriasis, arthropathies, sacroiliitis and ankylosing spondylitis suggests that increased uptake of food antigens may be a pathogenic mechanism of systemic inflammatory disease. The absorption of antigenic molecules that originate from food and/or gut microbes may initiate and then maintain inflammation in target organs.